Beasts of the Southern Wild

   Director: Benh Zeitlin, Rated M, 93 Mins

The actual star of this beautifully made movie is six year old Quvenzhane Wallis, appearing in her first feature film as the daring young girl Hushpuppy who lives with her frail father Wink (Dwight Henry) in an area called “The Bathtub” a saturated swampland
Beasts of the Southern Wild
that is prone to flooding and unprotected by the New Orleans levee system.
   Most of all, Hushpuppy dreads that the melting of the ice caps will result in rising storm waters and the release of prehistoric creatures known as aurochs.
   Just as a huge storm hits, raising the waters around their bayou community and releasing the aurochs from their frozen graves, Wink’s health begins to fade, forcing Hushpuppy and her father to float around on a makeshift boat.
   What transpires after the storm is Wink’s conviction in the courageous calibre of his six year old daughter.
   Beasts of the Southern Wild is a profoundly moving production by first time director Benh Zeitlin, having been shot through the eyes of a six year old whose phenomenal performance is coupled with some extraordinary cinematography making this movie a memorable experience and justifying its recent awards at the renown Sundance Film Festival .

VIC'S VERDICT:         4 ½ Rubber Stamps

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

   Director: David Bowers, Rated PG, 94 Mins

This teenage comedy from David Bowers, (who directed Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Rodrick Rules) is the third in the franchise based on the popular Jeff Kinney books, collaborating again with Kinney as executive producer and the same cast as they reprise their characters from the previous Wimpy Kid movies.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
   On this occasion, school is out and main character Greg (Zachary Gordon) is preparing plans for the summer holidays which go horribly wrong when his dad (Steve Zahn) tells him to stop playing his video games and spend his time outdoors.
   As a pretext, Greg tells his dad that his best buddy Rowley (Robert Capron) has arranged a job for him at his family’s exclusive country club but where he continues to pursue his crush on fellow student Holly (Peyton List) - that is until his brother Rodrick (Devon Bostik) uncovers his plan.
   While the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid may not appeal to older kids, the teenage fans who have read all of Kinney’s books will certainly enjoy this latest episode in Greg’s schoolboy adventures as he tries to out manoeuvre both his father and interfering brother.
VIC'S VERDICT:         3 Rubber Stamps

Hotel Transylvania (3D)

   Director: Genndy Tartakovsky, Rated PG, 91 Mins

Hotel Transylvania is not your average hotel for visitors; instead it is Dracula’s five-stake resort where monsters and their families can “live it up” without humans bothering
Hotel Transylvania (3D)
them in their moments of relaxation.
   Russian TV producer Genndy Tartakovsky (Sym-Bionic Titan) makes his directorial debut with his hilarious animated take on a resort for monsters.
   In celebration of the 118th birthday of his beloved daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez), the perennial monster Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler - Jack and Jill) decides to invite his closest friends to her party including Frankenstein (Kevin James) and his wife, the Invisible Man, the Mummy, the Werewolf family and other legendary monsters.
   But everything changes when an ordinary human stumbles onto the hotel and takes a fancy to Dracula’s daughter.
   There are many side-splitting scenes (due to some renowned comedians voicing there characters) in this entertaining send-up of a monster gathering that may scare some younger children but will certainly be a scream for the older ones.

VIC'S VERDICT:         3 ½ Rubber Stamps

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (3D)

   Director: Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath Rated PG, 93 Mins

Directors Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath are back for their third hilarious instalment in the highly popular Madagascar franchise featuring the New York zoo animals Alex the Lion (voiced by Ben Stiller), Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock), Gloria the Hippo (Jada Pinkett
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (3D)
Smith) and Melman the Giraffe (David Schwimmer) including the Penguins King Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Maurice (Cedric the Entertainer).
   Following on from the second Madagascar movie, the motley bunch has flown from Africa to Monte Carlo where they are soon confronted by Captain Chantel DuBois (Frances McDormand) of the Monaco Animal Control who wants Alex’s head.
   To avoid being captured and in the hope of getting back to the Big Apple, they join a travelling circus troupe that includes Gia the Jaguar (Jessica Chastain), Stefano the Sea Lion (Martin Short) and Vitaly the Tiger (Bryan Cranston).
   The lovable gang’s European escapade provides plenty of action and laughs (especially due to their one-liners) ensuring that this entertaining sequel will once again please the whole family not to mention the animation which is even more enjoyable in 3D.
VIC'S VERDICT:         3 ½ Rubber Stamps

The Watch

   Director: Akiva Schaffer, Rated MA, 102 Mins

The co-writers of Superbad, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are behind this bemusing adaptation of an alien attack by Saturday Night Live director Akiva Schaffer having assembled an impressive line-up of top comedians to act as the front line against the impending invasion.
The Watch
   Following the mysterious death of an employee in his supermarket, Evan (Ben Stiller - Tower Heist) a Costco manager decides to set up a neighbourhood watch group made up of three inept citizens that include Bob (Vince Vaughn - The Dilemma), Franklin (Moneyball’s Jonah Hill) and Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade from the TV series – The IT Crowd).
   It is not long before the awesome foursome figure out that they’re actually dealing with extraterrestrials after confronting an alien creature and discovering a circular object that emits a destructive force.
   In spite of the silly storyline and the inclusion of Stiller, Vaughn and Hill in the lead roles, one may find that their gags to be quite raunchy, besides being few and far between, with their comical portrayals well below par and overshadowed by Ayoade’s deadpan performance.
   Overall The Watch does have a few amusing scenes that makes it watchable but it could have been a lot funnier.

VIC'S VERDICT:        2½ Rubber Stamps

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